San Diego State University

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SLHS recognizes the achievements of its emeritus faculty for their many contributions in building its programs and educating its outstanding graduates.


Lew ShapiroDr. Lewis P. Shapiro began his stint at SDSU in 1995. He investigates the linguistic, cognitive, and neuroscience underpinnings of language processing. His work has often focused on clinical populations, including adult stroke survivors who have aphasia. Dr. Shapiro has had continuous NIH funding since 1988 and is also PI on an NIH doctoral training grant since 2005. Dr. Shapiro’s impactful scientific contributions include the first online work on the role of predicate argument structure in sentence processing in both neurologically healthy individuals and those with aphasia, some of the first work examining the role of prosody in online sentence processing, work suggesting the separation of lexical from syntactic processing routines, and cutting-edge collaborative work examining the efficacy of a treatment approach for sentence production and comprehension deficits in aphasia. Dr. Shapiro has had various roles in the School, including as Director (2014-2016). Dr. Shapiro was awarded Fellow of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association in 2003, received the SDSU Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Faculty Contributions for the College of Health and Human Services in 2005, and the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Florida in 2016.


Beverly WulfeckDr. Beverly Wulfeck is an internationally recognized scholar, educator, and researcher.  Her research has focused on real-time processing and brain imaging techniques to examine the neural correlates of language and cognitive processing in typical children and adults, adults with aphasia, and children with neurodevelopmental impairment.  Her research was supported by the National Institutes of Health for over 25 years.  Dr. Wulfeck was Director of the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (2004-2014) and founding Program Director of the highly ranked SDSU/UCSD joint doctoral program in Language and Communicative Disorders (1996-2014).  In 2008, Dr. Wulfeck received the Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Faculty Contributions for the College of Health and Human Services.


Vera Gutierrez-ClellenDr. Vera Gutierrez-Clellen’s research program has been focused on the acquisition of language in bilingual children with typical and impaired development. Her work has been funded by the NIH as well as the U.S. Dept. of Education. She developed the first language test in the field that addresses the cultural and linguistic diversity of Latino children in the country: the Bilingual English-Spanish Assessment (BESA). Dr. Gutiérrez-Clellen has also been an expert consultant for the State of California for the development of infant and toddler program guidelines, as well as preschool standards for English language learners. She has provided numerous years of service to national peer review panels for ASHA, NIH-NIDCD, and the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education. In 2005, she was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Head Start Accountability and Educational Performance Measures, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Donna Thal

Dr. Donna Thal‘s research efforts have been focused on the relationships between language and cognition in young children with delayed and precocious lexical development, language impaired children, and children with focal brain injury. One of the major goals of her work is to identify predictors of risk for language learning disorders in infants and toddlers. Dr. Thal is also a co-developer of the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories and the Inventario del Desarrollo de Habilidades Comunicativas: Fundacion MacArthur, instruments designed for the assessment of communication in children between 8- and 30-months of age.

Dr. Li-Rong Cheng is the Executive Director of Chinese Study Institute, the managing director of the Confucius Institute, and the co-chair of the Asian Task Force. Dr. Cheng had served as a member of the board of trustees of the Campanile Foundation of San Diego State University. She was the former chair of the Multicultural Issues Board for ASHA and the current chair of Education Committee for the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics. She was the past president of the International Affairs Association, a related professional organization of ASHA. She is also a fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Dr. Cheng is the recipient of the 1997 ASHA Award for special contributions to Multicultural Affairs and the recipient of the 2002 Diversity Award from the California Speech & Hearing Association. Dr. Cheng has numerous publications and has lectured all over the world.

  • Allen, Elizabeth J. (1971-2004)
  • Christensen, Kathee M. (1978-2004)
  • Davies, Darlene G. (1976-1994)
  • Earnest, Sue (1947-1973) *
  • Kopp, Harriet G. (1970-1983) *
  • Nichols, Alan C. (1964-2000)
  • Reidman, Richard M. (1962-1992)
  • Seitz, Michael (1985-2004)*
  • Thile, Edmund L. (1967-1998)
  • Williams, Diane R. (1975-2002)




* deceased